In 1871, when Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over the lantern in her barn — or was framed for the act, depending on who you ask — the Gothic Revival spires of Water Tower were only two years old. Today, along with the Pumping Station on the other side of the street, the Water Tower is the last, dream-like symbol of the Old Chicago that disappeared in the Fire. Surrounded by hotels and colossal department stores, it's also ''the'' icon of the new city that arose. At night, the Water Tower is lit from within, and it's a memorable sight. Inside, the vintage machinery is long gone (along with the water), and the plain interior is occasionally used as a gallery space.
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